Vinyl Tales: Meeting the people behind the record collections – Jan 2018

It takes a certain type of person to be a record collector. It is someone who loves music, but wants more from it, to feel it, to touch it, and full immerse themselves in the experience. In our new feature, Vinyl Tales, we will be meeting the people behind some of the best record collections out there.

This month we caught up with one of our customers, Chris Cummings who has been a dedicated Marc Bolan fan since 1970. He have collected hundreds of records, DVD’s, VHS tapes, and many of the more ‘quirky’ things associated with Bolan like ink stamps, snow shakes, dinky trucks, resin models, patches and many books, some of which are impossible to get hold of these days.

Firstly, when did you start collecting records, and why?

I first started collecting records in 1970 when, with my pocket money as a twelve year old, I bought a copy of ‘Hot Love,’ and played it to death!! I think subconsciously I knew then I would only ever buy Bolan music for the rest of my life.

What was the first record you bought, and is there a story behind it?

I bought ‘Hot Love’ because I loved the general easy feeling to the song and Bolan appeared to be something of a rebel to me, especially when I saw my dad’s reaction to his appearance on the T.V. Bolan was striking a blow for the younger generation!!

What is the most you have ever paid for a record, and how did you acquire it?

The most I ever paid for a record was around £120 for a copy of ‘A History’ box set from a private source at a record fair in Manchester.

What would you consider to be the most cherished item in your collection? (not necessarily most valuable)

My most prized possession to date is a first-pressing copy of ‘Strange Orchestras’ (TYRCO 1969), a German multi-coloured issue. This is very rarely seen for sale anywhere and much sought after among the Bolan community.

What do you find is most appropriate way to store the collection?

I tend to store my vinyl, books, DVD’s and VHS videos in the hallway as the mostly ambient temperature seems to have no effect on the condition of the items. My C.D’s are tucked away in the bedroom and the memorabilia are stored in air-tight boxes in my loft.

What are you still looking for to complete your collection? Do you have a ‘holy grail’ record you just have to track down?

I am always adding to my collection, especially foreign issues, but the ‘Holy Grail’ for any Bolan fan is a copy of ‘Midsummer Nights Scene.’ Occasionally this will surface at major auction houses and will  command a price of £4000-£600 historically.

What advice would you give to those just starting to build their collections?

To anyone just starting out on a record collecting adventure be prepared to experience delight and frustration in equal measure. However, if you chase long and hard enough, you will achieve your goals!!

What do you see for the future of vinyl? Do you think it will continue to grow following the resurgence of the last few years?

The resurgence of vinyl is something of an anomaly. Vinyl never went away in the first place. Vinyl stepped back to let other formats have their day in the sun, before they drifted off into the distance. Vinyl was always there in the background wearing an ironic smile at everything around it. While C.D.’s and MP3’s etc., are all very good, it must be remembered that the vinyl record is a gift from God.

Finally, do you think music really sounds better on vinyl?

Music will always sound better on vinyl. It will always sound more ‘real’ and tangible. In a thousand years time vinyl will always be looking down at the pretenders with a smug look on its face.

Many thanks to Chris for taking part. If you would like to tell your Vinyl Tales, please email with a brief description of your collection and why yours should be featured. – the world’s best online store for rare, collectable and out of print Vinyl Records, CDs & Music memorabilia since 1987

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